As the weather looks set to hot up, visitors and residents alike are being encouraged to make the most of recently expanded ‘Rail Trails’ opening up new ways to explore the Western Lake District, Furness Peninsula and Lakes Line routes.
Cumbria Tourism has teamed up with Northern to inspire people to enjoy more days out in the county by rail, as well as highlighting the availability of special ‘duo’ tickets – providing 25% off train tickets when people travel in pairs. Duo tickets are being heralded as a cost-effective way for local residents to travel around the county more and enjoy all the world-class destination on their doorstep.
Meanwhile, the new downloadable additions to the popular ‘Rail Trails’ series highlight inspiring walks and activities suitable for all ages and accessible from either the Furness or Lakes Lines, with regular rail connections across Cumbria and North Lancashire.
The trails have been created in partnership with Community Rail Cumbria and offer passengers the opportunity to leave their car at home while they explore a range of sites teeming with nature, history and stunning views.
Some of the Rail Trails in and around the Furness Peninsula include the coastal gem of Grange-over-Sands and foodie mecca Cartmel, which is home to Michelin-starred restaurants and the world-famous Cumbrian sticky toffee pudding. Other highlights include the rich history of Furness Abbey, founded in the 12th Century and a key part of Henry VIII’s break from Rome.
Meanwhile, Lakes Line Rail trails include the quintessential Lake District village of Staveley – home to Hawkshead Brewery and Beer Hall. Alternatively, people can delve into the history and nature of Kendal and the River Kent. Or they can stroll across to the scenic Cockshott point from Windermere station, with the option to take in the lovely restored Claife Viewing station.
Additional trails along the Cumbrian coastline are also featured, including walks taking in the stunning views from and around St Bees Head. With views north across the Solway Firth to Scotland and west over the Isle of Man towards Ireland, hikers will be spoilt for choice.
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, who funded the project, said: “Cumbria is a amazing county to explore, from glorious coastlines to majestic mountains and, of course, crystal clear lakes. And there’s no better way to experience everything Cumbria has to offer than by using the train to go do your thing.
“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and, to help make the most of any visit to Cumbria, rail users can access great value fares to make sure they have more cash in their pocket to sample either the great food on offer or snare a souvenir.”
Sustainable Transport Lead at Cumbria Tourism, Gemma Procter, says, “As spring turns to summer, the Lake District Cumbria is a truly magical place – leaving the car behind and exploring by rail and foot can open up memorable experiences for day trippers who want to get out and make the most of our diverse and inspiring county. Of course, it’s a fantastic way for people to reduce their carbon footprint and be more environmentally conscious too.
“Offering a range of routes of varying length and difficulty, the Rail Trails all start and end at railway stations so planning your day couldn’t be easier!”
More handy tips to help people get around by train are also available at: www.visitlakedistrict.com/byrail.
Northern is the second largest train operator in the country, with nearly 2,000 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.